After completing the third biggest intrastate merger among North Carolina banks last year, Dunn-based Select Bancorp is more than 40% larger in assets and looks better prepared to compete for customers in the eastern third of the state. Dunn-based New Century Bancorp paid $31.1 million for Greenville-based Select Bank, then adopted its name. The transaction added six offices and $276.9 million in assets, giving Select about $766 million in total assets with 14 offices. While Select has offices in Burlington, Gibsonville and Raleigh and wants to expand in the fast-growing Triangle, most of its business occurs in Dunn, Fayetteville, Greenville and other eastern North Carolina cities experiencing slower expansion. Select’s owners saw the value of a combination because changing bank regulations required hefty investments. “They would have had to ramp up with human resources and compliance, and we had all of those things,” says Chief Executive Officer William Hedgepeth, who started as New Century’s CEO in 2007. Like many banks, New Century struggled during the recession, reporting almost $14 million in cumulative losses between 2008 and 2011, but it has rebounded with the economy. Profits have totaled about $10 million over the last three years, and its nonperforming loans declined sharply in 2014. Shares have made a similar swing, trading for less than $2 in 2011, then rebounding to about $7.30 in early May. Economies of scale from the merger are limited because the two companies had little overlap, so only a handful of employees were dismissed, Hedgepeth says. Select employs about 160 people.
Roll the credits
The film industry spent more than $241 million in the state in 2014, according to an annual report released by the N.C. Department of Revenue. More than half the spending — $137 million — involved productions shot in the Wilmington area, including Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. Projects, which include movies, TV shows and commercials, were eligible to receive more than $60 million from the state’s now-diminished film-incentive program, which offered a 25% tax credit for qualifying expenses. Last year’s biggest production, Fox Television’s Sleepy Hollow, got $10.9 million in tax credits. The revamped film-grant program, which began in January, caps the state’s total incentives payout at $10 million, with a $5 million limit per project. Sleepy Hollow, Banshee and Homeland have moved production out of North Carolina.
WILMINGTON — Jose “Zito” Sartarelli will become chancellor of UNC Wilmington on July 1. The Brazil native has been dean of West Virginia University’s business school since 2010 and worked for three decades in marketing and management for the pharmaceutical industry. He replaces William Sederburg, who has served in the role in the interim since Gary Miller resigned in July to become chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
WILMINGTON — Pharmaceutical Product Development opened a central lab in Shanghai, China, to perform general and customized testing and technical services. The company has similar labs in Brussels, Singapore and Highland Heights, Ky. Founded here in 1985, PPD has more than 13,500 employees in 46 countries, including about 3,100 here.